Economy boosts Metrofile’s business in Mozambique

Metrofile Records Management MozambiqueAccording to the World Bank, the emerging extractive industry could provide the means for Mozambique to reach the status of a middle-income country by 2025. (Image source: Metrofile Holdings Limited)Strong economic growth in Mozambique has contributed to a significant business surge at information provider and record management company Metrofile Records Management Mozambique

A group company of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings Limited, the firm is physical and digital information and records management in Africa and is represented in the six major provinces of South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria.

According to company sources, the Mozambican economy grew by 6.5 per cent in the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period last year, with the strongest growth of 23.3 per cent being recorded in the financial services sector.

Artur Martins, general manager of Metrofile Records Management Mozambique, said that the positive economic growth in the country has required Mozambican businesses to catch up to international standards of information and records management.

This uptake is proven by the significant growth of the Metrofile Records Management Mozambique branch, first established in the capital city of Maputo in 2008, which has achieved its five-year forecasted growth in only one year, Martins added.

“This has resulted in the company having to increase its capacity to cater for this continuous growth. Only a year ago, the branch moved to new facilities with two warehousing spaces of 12,000 square metres each and we are now looking for a third warehouse.”

This adoption of information and records management solutions is especially evident in the Mozambican banking sector.

“All banks have to comply with legislative requirements for information and records management in order to avoid the overall rating of the country being downgraded, so effective records management is becoming increasingly critical as the economy grows.”

He stated that Mozambican banks are required to keep accurate records for a period of between 15 to 20 years, compared to South African banks which are only required to store documents for up to five years. “The amount of paper that has to be stored for 20 years is significant. As markets mature and the economy continues to grow at a fast pace, companies are opting to outsource this service to specialists as they do not have the necessary resources or skills to effectively manage this growing amount of information and records.”

Martins said that the market is also maturing with regards document management trends as there is a bigger uptake of data storage services in the country. “This means companies in Mozambique are slowly starting to adhere to the digital document format, proving the market is aligning itself more closely to international trends,” he added.

According to African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2013 report, the Mozambican economy had maintained its robust performance in 2012 with a real GDP growth of 7.4 per cent. The progressive increase in coal production, the implementation of large infrastructure projects, coupled with credit expansion are expected to continue to drive growth to eight per cent in 2014.

However, despite its strong and sustained past economic growth, the Mozambican economy has undergone minimal structural transformation. Its productive base remains dependent largely on natural resources, which are concentrated in a few mega projects, specifically coal, gas and aluminium. These mega projects have resulted in large FDI inflows, which have driven economic growth but not had a significant impact on government revenues, employment creation and economic diversification. Weak human capital, the high cost of credit, deficient infrastructure and burdensome regulations have slowed the diversification of the economic structure, the report added.

According to the World Bank, the emerging extractive industry could provide the means for Mozambique to reach the status of a middle-income country by 2025. Large future public and private investments in extractive industries are expected to transform the deficient infrastructure. The likely improvement in the business environment may trigger a diversification of economic activities, which is imperative to sustainable economic growth, as increased activity in resource-rich regions, such as Tete province, is likely to exert significant pressure on local communities.

The recent offshore gas discoveries in the southeast African country, estimated at 4.25 trillion cubic metres, are one of the largest known gas reserves in the world. According to sector experts, the commercial exploration is unlikely before 2019 due to the large investments required in production and transport infrastructure.

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